Recipe for Shaking Beef with Watercress Salad

Shaking Beef with Watercress Salad

During the festive break I took the opportunity to thumb through some of my much loved House & Garden magazines. (A luxury I don’t often afford myself). In the July 2021 issue I discovered Uyen Luu’s recipe for Shaking Beef With Watercress Salad. It occurred to me that this would make the perfect New Year Eve’s supper as it is tasty, nutritious and, oh so, easy to make.

For 4 people you will need:


For the beef:

  • 600g grass-fed, free-range beef fillet or ribeye, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Maggi seasoning or soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 round shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp castor sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying

For the salad:

  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 11/2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 200g watercress
  • 100g lamb’s lettuce or pea shoots
  • 200g tomatoes (use a mix of varieties), sliced

To serve:

  • Rice


  1. Combine the beef and all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl with 1 tsp heaped freshly ground black pepper and marinate for at least one hour at room temperature. If you want to leave it longer, put it in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Heat a frying pan or skillet over a high heat for a few minutes until it is very hot. Add 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil, then add a batch of beef cubes, making sure they are not too crowded together. Leave them to sear in the hot pan for 30 seconds, then shake the pan vigorously for 10 seconds every 30 seconds for a further one and half minutes for medium rare.
  3. Set aside the cooked beef on a plate to rest while you cook the remaining beef cubes in the remaining 1 tbsp oil. When all the beef is done, pour any juices left in the pan onto it. Allow it to rest in a warm place.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the salad dressing by shaking together the cider vinegar and lime juice in a jar with the maple syrup or agave nectar and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Add the sliced onion and leave for about 20 minutes, then pour the dressing over the salad leaves and the tomatoes, and toss together. Serve the beef with the salad and some rice.

My Interpretation

As there were only two of us I bought two 200g fillet steaks from Tesco and they were delicious. On the whole I halved the amount of ingredients except for the garlic which I reduced considerably. I was also unable to buy Lamb’s Lettuce so I substituted this with a bag of Watercress, Spinach & Rocket which seemed to work just fine. For the rice I used one pouch of Tilda Fragrant Jasmine Rice.

My Hacks

Prepare the salad in advance of cooking the meat to allow for the 20 minutes after the onion is added. Tesco list Maggi seasoning on their website but I was unable to buy it in store so I substituted it with soy sauce as suggested in the recipe.

My Opinion

This was a lovely light supper which we enjoyed immensely. If cooking for a crowd I might even suggest using a fondue and letting each guest cook their own meat. The only downside is that there would be little or no resting time.


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One Comment

  1. Hi Carolyn. That dish sounded great, we had something similar!
    Happy New Year!